Military buyback basics


Q: Where do I send my form for buying back my military time, and how do I find out how much it will cost?

A: To make a deposit for any years of active duty service, you’ll need to complete a copy of Form RI-20-97, Estimated Earnings During Military Service, and mail it to the military finance center for your branch of service along with a copy of your DD 214, Report of Transfer or Discharge. When you get that information, take it to your payroll office along with a copy of your DD 214 and a Standard Form 2803 (for Civil Service Retirement System employees) or SF 3108 (for Federal Employees Retirement System employees). Your payroll office will figure out how much you owe and arrange for you to make the deposit if you decide to do that.


About Author

Reg Jones was head of retirement and insurance policy at the Office of Personnel Management. Email your retirement-related questions to

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